tv Democracy Now PBS December 23, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
democracynow.org 12/23/16 12/23/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! president-elect donald trump has raised the prospect of a new nuclear arms race after suggesting on twitter he would increase the size of u.s. nuclear arsenal. we will get response from greenpeace. been with less than a month before donald trump takes office, the obama administration dismantles a registry used to track some arabs and muslims in an attempt to prevent trump from creating a broader database , in addition of trump campaigned on. -- an initiative trump campaigned on. a lotump: we should have
of systems. today you can do it. but we have to have a border. we have to have a wall. we cannot let what is happening to this country happen. amy: into the case of imprisoned puerto rican independence activist oscar lopez rivera. >> i think the fact i was charged with conspiracy to overthrow the government of united states for itself, but the charge in reference to puerto rico -- amy: more than 100,000 people have addition president obama to pardon oscar lopez rivera who has been held for 35 years. we will speak to oscar's brother and the speaker of the new york city council. all that and more coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president-elect donald trump raised the prospect of a new global arms race on thursday, after he suggested on twitter he would increase the size of the u.s. nuclear arsenal. trump's tweet read --
"the united states must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes." at the state department, the outgoing obama administration's spokesperson john kirby was asked about the tweet. >> i can't speak for what the nuclear viewst's or his policy going forward. that is for him and his team. what i can speak to is the approach that this administration has taken to try to get us on a path toward -- without nuclear weapons. amy: despite president obama's call for an end to nuclear weapons, his administration has been quietly upgrading its nuclear arsenal to create smaller, more precise nuclear bombs as part of a massive effort that will cost up to $1 trillion over three decades. speaking to msnbc rachel maddow, kellyanne conway defended the
tweet pointing to president obama's nuclear plans. >> mika as the president-elect would he have the opportunity, what his position was on trying to clarify the tweet yesterday regarding the nuclear arsenal in the president-elect told you what? >> let it be an arms race. we will out match them at every them all.utlast amy: that was like, it made this morning. let's go to kellyanne conway. >> i do not think the tweet was groundbreaking in this regard. it seems president obama has called for an upgrade in our capabilities. i read in one or two articles come up to $1 trillion is the price tag. we all know president obama, president-elect trump, everyone shares the same core value in their first duty is to try to keep us all safe. we know it is a dangerous world. amy: that was kellyanne conway
who trump named yesterday as counselor to the president. this morning, msnbc host mika brzezinski said she spoke briefly to president-elect on the phone and asked him about his nuclear weapons comments. brzezinski recounted trump's response during a conversation with co-host joe scarborough. we are going to play that clip again. theika asked president-elect, woody of the opportunity, what his position tweetying to clarify the yesterday regarding the nuclear arsenal, and the president-elect told you what? >> let it be an arms race. we will out match them at every pass. >> and a last them all. >> and outlast them all. amy: yes, they were in their pajamas will stop according to the campaign, about 93% of all nuclear warheads are owned by russia and the united states, which together have about 14,000 warheads stockpiled. the obama administration has moved to formally end the national registry program for immigrants from majority-muslim
countries, known as the national security entry-exit registration system, or nseers. the department of homeland security on thursday submitted a rule change in an effort to dismantle the legal framework for the registry, apparently in order to prevent donald trump from reviving it. the move comes only one day after trump appeared to reiterate his pledge to reinstate the registry. the registry was created after the september 11 attacks. the department of homeland security idled the program in 2011 under massive pressure from civil rights groups. donald trump's transition team is ordered the state department to detail which of the agency's jobs and programs focus on gender equality and ending violence against women, in a move that's raised alarm among women's rights advocates in the foreign service. the order came in a one-page memo with the subject heading, "gender-related staffing, programming and funding." the memo comes a week after the trump transition team asked the department of energy to name employees working on climate change.
in breaking news, police in milan, italy, say they have shot and killed anis amri, the main suspect in an attack on a market in berlin earlier this week. police say amri opened fire on officers after he was asked to show his id during a routine traffic stop. they say one officer was wounded in the shoulder before another officer shot and killed amri. the 24-year-old tunisian was accused of hijacking a truck, killing its driver, and then ramming it into a crowded christmas market on monday in an attack that left 11 more people dead and dozens wounded. at the united nations security council on thursday, egypt abandon a resolution that would have ordered israel to halt all construction of jewish-only settlements on occupied palestinian lands. egypt's move came just hours before a planned vote amidst heavy lobbying against the measure by israeli officials. the measure was opposed by donald trump, who took to twitter to call for a veto of the resolution.
trump spoke by telephone with egyptian president sisi thursday. israeli officials reportedly contacted trump's transition team after they learned the obama administration might abstain on a vote condemning settlements -- a move that would have cleared the way for the measure to pass. in medical news, a new study finds an experimental vaccine was 100% effective in protecting west africans against the ebola virus during an outbreak in 2014-2015, raising the prospect that the future spread of the deadly disease could be halted. the finding was reported thursday in the british medical journal the lancet. an assistant director-general of the world health organization said the study compared about 6000 residents of guinea who received the vaccine with a similar-sized group who hadn't. >> we have shown that the vaccinated people, we had zero case of ebola, while at the same time we have had 23 cases for the people who were not vaccinated with ebola. you compare zero to 23, and you
contacted late that you have a vaccine which has shown what had percent effective. -- 100% effective. amy: researchers caution that the vaccine has unpleasant side affects and that it only appears to work only on one of the two most common strains of the ebola virus. an ebola outbreak in west africa in 2014 claimed more than 11,000 lives. critics say those lives could have been spared if researchers had poured more resources into finding a vaccine years ago. in financial news, deutsche bank is set to pay $7.2 billion in fines over its role in the u.s. housing market collapse, in a tentative settlement with the u.s. department of justice. between 2005 and 2007, deutsche bank packaged toxic mortgages into securities it sold to investors. the tentative deal is barely half of the $14 billion fine the justice department was seeking. "the wall street journal" reports the obama administration scrambled to secure the deal before donald trump's inauguration next month. trump has about $300 million in
outstanding debts to deutsche bank, and it's not clear whether his administration would have pursued a settlement. meanwhile, the justice department filed suit against british bank barclays and two of its former executives thursday, charging they misled the public over the sale of tens of billions of dollars in mortgage-backed securities. in the mediterranean, a hijacked libyan airliner with more than 110 people on board landed today in the island nation of malta. state television reported the plane remains on the tarmac at malta's international airport, and that two hijackers were threatening to blow up the plane with hand grenades. the flight took off from the libyan city of sabha bound for tripoli. it's not known if the hijackers have specific demands. in iraq three suicide car bombs , driven by members of isis killed at least 15 civilians and eight iraqi police officers on thursday as the battle to retake the city of mosul raged into its third month. the attacks came in a suburb east of mosul that iraq's military claimed to have captured weeks ago.
the fighting came as many residents of mosul remained in their homes despite the fierce battles nearby. many said conditions in camps for displaced people were so poor they would rather risk , death. this is abdullah murad, who left a camp east of mosul on wednesday. necessitiessimplest are unavailable. we are surrounded by mud. look at us. atent caught fire. it was indescribable. then it was in gold in flames in 20 seconds of people died. it is cold, very cold during the night. we're going to try and stay with relatives or in some home. it will be better than the camp. amy: the canadian government has formally declared high-speed internet access a fundamental right, calling it "necessary to the quality of life" of all canadians. the declaration came as canada's telecommunications agency said this week it aims to provide broaand internet to 100% of
canadians, including those in rural areas and in first nations communities. meanwhile, in the u.s., proponents of the open internet say the incoming trump administration is poised to do away with net neutrality -- the principle that internet providers should not be allowed to charge media companies for preferential treatment, such as faster speeds for their products and content. donald trump's picks for the federal communications commission transition team, former sprint lobbyist mark jamison and former verizon , consultant jeff eisenach, both oppose net neutrality. in texas, a fort worth police officer has been placed on restrictive duty after an online video showed him violently arresting a woman and her teenaged daughter after the woman called police to report an assault on her seven-year-old son. video of the incident went viral after it was posted to facebook on wednesday night. the video shows 46-year-old
jacqueline craig, who is african american, telling a white police officer that a white man choked her son after the boy supposedly threw a piece of paper on the ground. the officer, who has not been named, responds -- "why don't you teach your son not to litter?" cook's he told me my son littered. it doesn't matter if you did or didn't, it doesn't give him the right to put his hands on him. amy: the video next shows jacqueline craig arguing with the officer over the alleged assault on her son, before the officer tackles and handcuffs craig while pointing a weapon at her and at her teenaged daughter, who he had already grabbed. the officer then tackles and arrests the girl as well. in a statement, the fort worth police department said it has launched an internal affairs investigation into the arrest. and in chile, family members of those killed or disappeared under the u.s.-backed dictatorship of augusto pinochet
held a protest outside santiago's main cathedral on thursday ahead of a planned catholic mass today for jailed members of the former regime. the protesters wore photographs of their loved ones and held signs reading, "never forget." this is carla pellegrin, whose brother raul was disappeared under the dictatorship. >> the human rights violators of this country are going to ask for forgiveness to obtain prison benefits. we absolutely reject a pardon because we're neither for forgiveness nor forgetting. basically, that is because the missing are still missing. because our loved ones who were tortured, who were killed, are no longer here -- which happened in many cases. and there is still much impunity, such as in the case of my brother, certainly, and because there is a pack of silence. amy: on september 11, 1973, democratically elected president salvador allende was toppled in a u.s.-backed coup, ushering in 17 years of brutal dictatorship under augusto pinochet.
and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. the obama administration moved to formally end the national registry program. trump's tweet said -- it came on the same day russian president vladimir putin said his country needed to "strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces." according to the international campaign to abolish nuclear weapons, about 93% of all nuclear warheads are already owned by russia and the united states, which together have about 14,000 warheads stockpiled. a makeup this morning, msnbc host become brezinski said she
spoke briefly to the president-elect on the phone during a commercial break and asked him about his nuclear weapons comments. she recounted trump's response to a conversation with her cohost joe scarborough. >> mika asked the president-elect, what his position was on trying to clarify the tweet yesterday regarding the nuclear arsenal, and the president-elect told you what? >> let it be an arms race. we will out match them at every pass. >> and outlast them all. outlast them all. amy: yes, they were sitting in a fire as they vote. they had just spoken withtrump's spokesperson. when trump called him on the phone at break, that is when he spoke to make a burzynski and she relayed that conversation after. joining us now is annie leonard.
a new nuclear arms race? can you talk about the significance of this? >> it is absolutely frightening. everyday trump says something that makes us worried that this may be the most terrifying yet. and the arms race is the last thing the world needs. i think about climate change and economic inequality, i think about all of these major threats that we are facing as a country and as a world. why would we add on top of that a totally manufactured, necessary threat. we already have so many nuclear weapons. we have over 7000 nuclear weapons in the united states. we're the biggest ella terry spender in the world. a new nuclear arms race is the last thing the world needs. it is long-lasting our country needs. it also demonstrates to be both complete the responsibility on trump's part in reasons to be forgetting his campaign promises. during his campaign, he talked about bringing back jobs, economic security, the way you bring back jobs from the vote
economic security -- promote economic security is investing the trillions of dollars to having wasted on nuclear energy into a clean energy economy. that is i you get real security. not wasting trillions of dollars that will increase insecurity and fear in our country and globally. the situation where both the president-elect of the united states and the president --russia, on the same basically, within the same 24 hours, remarking about their nuclear arsenals. >> it is absolutely terrifying. this is not a reality game show. this is really life or death situations. when trump talks about making things great again or he wants to bring back the old-fashioned days, i think about when i was a kid in high school and i would lie in bed at night absolutely terrified about the nuclear arms race. it is something -- it was drilled into our heads, this imminent threat. i look at my high school kid. she lies in bed at night scared
about climate change,'s aired about the -- scared about the state of economy. am i going to add the nuclear arms race to the list of concerns? it is so frightening, it is surreal. amy: i want to go back to something from the headlines, which is the issue of the continuum from president obama to president trop. despite obama's call for an end to nuclear weapons, his administration has been quietly upgrading the nuclear arsenal as part of a massive effort that will cost up to 120 and dollars over three decades. this is something that kellyanne conway raised on msnbc rachel maddow on thursday, the former campaign manager who has just been named as part of the communications team president tom -- trump. let's go to that comment of kellyanne conway 22 president obama's nuclear plans. ground breaking in this
regard. it seems president obama himself has invested, has called for an upgrade in our capabilities. i read in one or two articles, to $1 trillion is the price tag. president obama, president-elect trump, everyone shares the same core value and the first duty is to try to keep us all safe. we know it is a dangerous world, and that includes nuclear weapons. a makeup there you have kellyanne conway defending trump saying he is not changing things that much. we have done many shows on obama strung in dollar nuclear plan. what about this, annie leonard? >> just because one president made a mistake, certainly doesn't give license to another president to make the mistake. greenpeace and our allies have ought against president obama's military spending and we will fight against president trumps military spending. amy: kellyanne conway has been named counselor to the president. juan: i want to ask you, annie leonard, about the issue of president obama's drilling ban. recently announced in the arctic
and the atlantic. could you talk about that in the significance of that? >> absolutely. while president obama has been far from perfect, this was a thing he did. obama withdrew a huge amount of land, over 115 million acres in the seas north of alaska. another 3.8 million acres in the atlantic coast between virginia and maine. we of the atlantic us, the arctic, now protected from oil and drilling. this is an absolutely fantastic thing on a number of fronts. one, it matches the science. the science is clear we need to keep oil in the ground. drilling in the arctic is very expensive and dangerous, very hard. that is why no company has been able to do excessively -- successfully. most start with the dangerous places to drill. leaving the oil in the ground in the arctic makes absolute scientific sense. the science merits it, but it
also makes activists cents. great validation for activism. greenpeace and many of our allies of people literally all around the world have been pressuring obama to protect the arctic. this is enormous elevation of citizen activism. when you sound science and activism, you can win victories. juan: what was the prospect of this band may maintain? it goes back to 1953 law that congress passed. what is the potential for either trump to remove it or for congress to overturn it? >> this 1953 law, the outer continental shelf lands act, this specifically gives residents the right to withdraw land from use. any president could withdraw the land from use. it does not give the president the authority to put that land back into use. .bama has withdrawn the land
in order to reverse it, there needs to be an act of congress to actually put the land back in the use. i am sure trump is going to try. the american petroleum institute is already trying to undermine his pledge. it would be a very difficult and unprecedented act to reverse it. no president has been able to protectednd that is a in this way. while it is not permanent, there is nothing in u.s. politics that is permanent, it is pretty darn close. ultimately, it is up to us, people power, he engaged citizens that got this protected. it is up to us to continue to protect it. amy: the chamber of commerce may well see the obama administration. republican lawmakers from alaska are saying our considering legislative efforts to overturn it. >> and if anybody tries to overturn is, if trump tries, we will sue trump. we have very good lawyers in the environmental movement.
we have the law on our side in this case. it is not just that, we are confident in the law and we willsue and win, but it is also signs and economics. it does not make sense to drill for oil in the arctic. any oil drilling up there would not be available for to the 15 years. in 10 to 15 years, wrote the entire world -- the entire world is moving to a clean energy economy. and that oil is staying in the ground in the arctic because of the law, because of the science, because of citizen power, and because of economics. it doesn't make sense to drill for oil of their. amy: annie leonard, your thoughts on trumps kick of rex tillerson? accountnk trump may really person with more conflicts of interest that himself. it is absolutely insanity to think the ceo of exxon should be the secretary of state. enormous conflict of interest. exxon has literally billions of dollars worth of oil deals and
russia and rex tillerson is very close with putin -- not the cut of people we want bff's with our secretary of state. revealed exxon knew about climate change as early as the 1970's. they actually changed their business plans based on rising sea levels from climate change. they knew it was true. the same time, for decades, they spent millions of dollars defrauding the american public, funding climate denial is some. if you have somebody in charge company that the frogs the american public, that is such a glaring lack of integrity. why would we ever give the keys to the government to that kind of person, and that is what trump is trying to do. juan: it should make for interesting viewing to see the confirmation hearings of rex tillerson because under oath, he will have to answer a lot of
questions, including his company's view of climate change -- which i think might certainly conflict with that of the president-elect. >> absolutely. that is a very small silver lining of this domination, we will get rex tillerson under oath and can ask in the kind of questions that somebody needs to be asking exxon. i'm not very excited about a secretary of state you have to get under oath in a confirmation hearing to tell the truth. i would like someone who always tells the truth, stands up strong, has the well-being of the public first. it is clear that rex tillerson has exxon's profits first. we have long campaigned against the influence of the fossil fuel money in government. with this domination, i feel the merger is complete. amy: greenpeace, a group called the greenpeace 30 several years ago, were arrested by russia as he tried to stop drilling in the
arctic. can you talk about trump's relationship with putin -- it looks like together they may escalate a nuclear arms race, and what that work means now? arctic 30.was the 30 of my colleagues from greenpeace who were very courageously trying to stop drilling in the russian arctic. the arctic is such an important ecosystem, home to polar bears and whales and it is so important we protect it for that ecosystem and for the climate. my colleagues were doing peaceful protests. they were arrested brutally, thrown into a russian jail, faced with 30 years in prison for peacefully protesting arctic drilling that friends unity. that is the kind of leader that while the arctic 30 were in jail facing the prospect of decades in jail, there are pictures of trump shaking hands with vladimir
putin. this is doubly kind of colleague we want to have, the kind of relationship we want to have with the government like that. we want a president and secretary of they that is protecting freedom of speech, protecting the world climate. amy: annie leonard, thank you for being with us, executive director of greenpeace usa. the obama administration dismantling registry that registered a number of muslims and arabs after 9/11 to stop the information from getting to president trump. more in a minute. ♪ [music break]
amy: "the long shadows." this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: the obama administration hasoved to formally end the national registry program for immigrants from majority muslim countries known as the national security entry exit registration system, or nseers. obama's move comes only one day after donald trump appeared to reiterate his pledge to reinstate this very registry when answering a question from a reporter outside his mar-a-lago resort in florida wednesday. the reporter was asking trump about monday's attack on a christmas market in berlin, germany, which left 12 people dead. in response, trump said -- "you've known my plans all along, and it's -- they've proven to be right, 100% correct." trump first spoke about creating
a registry while campaigning for president. >> [indiscernible] we should have a lot of systems. today you can do it. i right now we have to have a border. we have to have strength, have to have a wall, and we cannot let what is happening to this country happen. i would certainly implement that. juan: over 200 organizations, as well as democratic lawmakers, mayors, and businesses have been calling on the white house to take action to end the registry before trump takes office. well, on thursday, the department of homeland security submitted a rule change in efforts to dismantle the legal framework for the registry, apparently in order to prevent trump from reviving it. in a statement, a spokesperson for the department of homeland security called the program "redundant, inefficient and provided no increase in security." amy: the registry was created after the september 11 terrorist attacks. under the program, more than 10,000 muslims were deported and
tens of thousands were spied on. the department of homeland security abandoned the program 10 years later in 2011 after massive pressure from civil rights groups. one of the main architects of the program was kansas secretary of state kris kobach, who was then working inside george w. bush's justice department. he is now a member of donald trump's transition team. in november, he accidentally revealed his proposed strategic plan for the department of homeland security, which includes reinstating the registry and imposing an ideological "extreme vetting" test for immigrants seeking to enter the united states. kobach revealed these plans when he was photographed carrying documents outlining this strategic plan into a meeting with donald trump. well, for more we're joined by naureen shah, director of amnesty international usa's security and human rights program. start off by talking about what president obama is dismantling. >> well, president obama is
dismantling a program that really had been an example of racial and religious profiling in this country. and the fact he is dismantling it is a huge indication for human rights, a vindication for muslims, salvation, and middle eastern groups that are in working for this moment for quite a long time but also import to recognize that this was a program that was controversial from the start under the bush and administration. people have been looking to scrap it within dhs since 2006, and had been abandoned by the obama administration. it was obsolete. it was not a value add to national security at all. it had achieved fear mongering, scaring people in these communities, driving families apart, deportations. it was ineffective and counterproductive. juan: what would dismantling it mean at this point? it hasn't been used for several years. >> what it means is for the trump administration to come in, it will be that much harder for them to start a new muslim
registry program. what we have basically, the edifice and foundation for a muslim registry has been taken out of the agency's rules. in order to bring it back in, the trump administration will have to start a whole new process. that doesn't mean they can't do it. if they do try, it will be challenged on constitutional grounds. we're far more ready for the fight then we were in 2002 when this started with the bush administration. the obama administration has dismantle the infrastructure and sent a really important signal that racial and religious profiling, that is not the norm, that is that something we just accept as a country. amy: the electronic privacy center has said peter thiel provided secret assistance to the u.s. customs and border protection as it tracked travelers and immigrants. the tools built by his data mining firm could help trump limit migration to the u.s. and to create a muslim registry.
thiel's company already has contracts with immigrations and customs enforcement, the departments of justice and defense, and the cia. thiel drew fire earlier this month when he refused to confirm whether he'd signed an ethics agreement to recuse himself from any matter affecting his self-interest. he was shown sitting next to trump when he met with all of the heads of google and facebook etc.. naureen shah, what about this? on severalcalling technology companies to make very clear they will not participate in the construction of a registry of american muslims. many have said that they would not, but that is just at the surface level. what we know over the last 15 years, hundreds of companies have participated in information gathering and information mining about u.s. citizens and noncitizens in this country, people, millions of people all over the world and this is the big problem.
president obama is dismantling roleseers program to the yesterday, but at the same time, they basically are handing over a dictators dream of surveillance technology, information about people in this country and around the world that can be used to stifle -- to make as a people are going out to protest have to be worried about the kinds of retaliation and targeting that they could face. we're in a very dangerous point in terms of the technology that is about to be handed to the trump administration. to ask about like another topic. you authored the report for the columbia law school on drones titled "the civilian impact of drone strikes. you have raised you believe the drone program will be one of the obama administration's worst legacies. can you talk about that? >> what we have with drone strikes is a very dangerous legacy of the president acting as judge, jury, and executioner through a drone program. what we have been calling on
president obama to do for the last several years, at least and some of the secrecy surrounding the program, what the rules are that the obama administration considers itself to be following when it is conducting drone strikes. we know drone strikes have killed thousands of people in yemen, pakistan, also u.s. air strikes in somalia. the level of secrecy about who is being killed in the strikes -- with the obama administration is done over the last year is disclose a lot of information about who is running the drone program, what the rules are there following. what we still do not know from the obama administration is more details about who is being killed. a woman killed in her family's field in pakistan in 2012 that amnesty international documented, the obama administration has never come clean about that or apologize or acknowledged it. we do not know the names of any acknowledged civilian strikes in pakistan because the obama administration has not come forward with that. that leaves a very dangerous
legacy for the next administration that can also come in and kill in secret and say, well, the people who are ramping up this program to begin with, they did not acknowledge the killings either. juan: i also want to bring in melissa mark-viverito, this because the new york city council. a few weeks ago, she tweeted -- "if one day muslims forced to register, that is day that this proud boricua/latina will register as a muslim. #neverisnow #exposehate." talk about that tweet. >> it speaks to the lunacy, the craziness we are experiencing right now and the fear. i'm not interested in normalizing the behavior and the attitudes that this president-elect is putting out there. and his idea of surveillance in these registries and building the walls are things that are really -- are just counter to our values, not only in new york city, but the values the
majority in this country believe in. in order for us to really push back against what is being presented, we have to do solidarity work. we have to align ourselves come all of us, in rejecting the rhetoric and rejecting what soon will be actions that will be taken on particular members of our community. that is what i was trying to say. i'm going to be a very strong what is being presented. i think our democratic party, which i am a part of, needs to reconfigure itself and re-envision itself and serve as a countermeasure and counteroffensive. that is why we need new leadership. there's a lot of work to do and i'm interested in being part of that struggle. amy: what about the new york id and what that could mean? >> we are in the process right now. there is a court hearing that is being heard before a judge. our interest has been we will not maintain the data. that we're collecting of people.
is being kept confidential. we have no interest in sharing -- telling amy: for people who are watching and listening, explain what the id is. >> this is a municipal id that is only valid in new york city. you cannot use it to travel. it is not authorized to be used as a federal id. it validates you as a new york city member -- a member of our city. it is available to people who are documented and undocumented, people that are transgender. they can self identify on the card. it is beneficial for the homeless community numbers. it is available to everyone regardless of your status. right now the law we have in place as the information will be held for two years and then we would destroy the data. juan: you have had close to one million people? >> correct. about one billion people have this identification, which is officially recognized by the nypd and within the city of new york. it comes with a lot of benefits. obviously, there are
undocumented members of our community that do have the id as well. underd what would happen the trump administration. we have been working actively. using every legal recourse to make sure we can destroy the information. it is supposed to be destroyed after two years and other is been a legal challenge. >> we have a court hearing in the beginning of january, prior to the presidency of trump going into place. we're in the process of doing that will stop obviously, we will have our day in court. amy: i want to ask you about another issue, which is, well, donald trump being a resident of new york, the issue of mayor de blasio asking for, and you have been involved with this, federal government reimbursement for the cost of providing security for the president-elect and soon-to-be president at his do
your coat and offices, a figure that officials estimated would reach $35 million by the time of trump's inauguration by january 20. his some of this costco not only paying for security, but hey trump for the security to use his buildings? >> remember, there's a lot of overtime that nypd and other agencies as well, doing a lot of overtime to maintain a level of security that is needed. this is unprecedented. we have never seen where president-elect has available a transition office in washington, d.c., where this is obviously a normal part of occurrence, they know how to prepare for this. now he setting up residency in new york city and washington, d.c. juan: not just new york city, but one of the busiest areas. >> there's a lot of overtime -- it is unsustainable. we're predicting $35 million. the federal government is only
accommodating $7 million for reimbursement. forof the expenses moving -- it is just a train and something we need to be safely addressed by the federal government and it hasn't been. amy: we want to thank you for being with us and ask you to stay with us, melissa mark-viverito, speaker of the new york city council, first latina in first person of color to serve as new york city council speaker. we want to thank naureen shah for joining us from washington, d.c. naureen shah is director of amnesty international usa's security and human rights program. when we come back, we're going to talk about yet another request for a pardon. this for a man who has been imprisoned for more than 30 years. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
juan: over 100,000 people have signed a petition urging president obama to pardon puerto rican independence activist oscar lopez rivera who has been imprisoned for about 35 years much of the time in solitary , confinement. in 1981, lopez was convicted on federal charges, including seditious conspiracy -- conspiring to oppose u.s. authority over puerto rico by force. he was accused of being a member of the faln, the armed forces of national liberation, which claimed responsibility for more than 100 bombings to call attention to the colonial case of puerto rico. in 1999, president bill clinton commuted the sentences of 16 members of the faln, but lopez refused to accept the deal because it did not include two fellow activists who have since been released. in a rare video recording from prison, oscar lopez rivera said the charges against him were strictly political. >> i think the fact i was
charged with seditious conspiracy to overthrow the government of the united states makes for itself, but the charge, in reference to puerto rico, is always been used for political purposes. it goes back to 1936 month the first time a group of puerto ricans supporting -- was used in the seditious conspiracy charge. this has been strictly political charges. amy: prominent supporters of lopez rivera include congressmembers luis gutierrez, nydia velasquez, and jose serrano, the musician residente of the group calle 13, and the mayor of san juan. nobel peace laureates mairead maguire of northern ireland, adolfo perez esquivel of argentina, and archbishop desmond tutu of south africa have also supported his release. this is archbishop desmond tutu. >> after more than 30 years, oscar lopez rivera is imprisoned for a crime of seditious
conspiracy. conspiring to free his people from the shackles of imperial justice. now is the time for his immediate and unconditional release. we once again feel compelled to repeat the biblical call of isaiah to set free those who are bound. may god bless all of us in our efforts for justice with peace. amy: to talk more about the case of oscar lopez rivera we are , joined by two guests. with us is melissa mark-viverito, speaker of the new york city council. and joining us from chicago is jose lopez rivera, executive director of the puerto rican cultural center in chicago and brother of oscar lopez rivera. welcome to democracy now! jose lopez rivera, if you could
talk about what you're calling on president obama to do for your brother oscar. >> we're calling on president obama to release my brother. we are calling on him to lift up -- live up to the legacy he should leave for the puerto rican people. it is not just about my brother's case, it is ultimately about the horrible colonial situation between puerto rico and the united states. what better legacy that he could get the puerto rican people, that he could give the emblematic figure of puerto rican unity than to release my brother from prison. , this ise lopez rivera not an unusual situation because president jimmy carter in the late 1970's pardoned a group of nationalist rhetoric and who were in jail as -- puerto ricans who were in jail as well as pardons that president clinton did before he went out of office. it is not an unusual request, is
it, in terms of from the puerto rican people to incarcerated fighters against colonialism? >> as a matter of fact, president truman in 1953 commuted the sentence -- the a man.entence of in 1979, president carter released the nationalists. in 1999, president clinton released a whole group of puerto rican political prisoners. there is a history here that dates back to the 1950's. and what better way to leave his presidency am a than to begin a process of reconciliation as bishop desmond tutu just said in his statement that the process of reconciliation to begin the healing process between the united states and puerto rico than to release oscar lopez
rivera. amy: let's turn to the terrorists speaking on the floor. >> he is regarded as the last political reporter from puerto rico still being held in a federal permit to jury. oscar is a friend and mentor and a 73 years old, has not beaten or broken or sad. as you can see, but a smile on his face. inn after spending 35 years jail, nearly half of his life, he is a hero to many people in puerto rico and throughout. it warms my heart that people from every walk of life understand the 35 years oscar is served for crimes that were not violent is too long to be in jail. it is now or never president obama holds all of the cards. we could not allow oscar to die in jail. obama must commute his sentence. amy: that is chicago congressman luis gutierrez. in fact, he was then with a picture of him together with car.r lopez rivera "#freeos
melissa mark-viverito, you occupy a very high position in york. you were just in indiana, the governor which is now the vice president-elect, mike pence, visiting oscar lopez rivera in a maximum security prison there. >> yes, i want to visit with his jose and assault the congressman and his lawyer as well. himas a way to really lend some good spirits and morale during this time as we are really fighting for his release. as -- to add on to what was a said, the hispanic caucus is supporting his release. we have national as many organizations that have signed on, broad-based support as in by the support of desmond tutu. president jimmy carter just released a letter this week also asking and employing obama to do the right -- imploring obama to
do the right thing. over 110,000 signatures were gathered. we have event january 11 in front of the white house where we will have 100,000 letters to give to president obama. they are hearing it. this is the right thing to do. it is a disproportionate sentence. amy: just to be clear, he was already granted, the by president clinton. >> and i think that needs to be understood. the conditions were found favorable to offer him clemency. the reason he did not accept it is because others were not part of it. i know everyone is out, and use the last 1 -- amy: the people he was standing up for our out. >> exactly. the others have integrated successfully in civic life. living in chicago, living in puerto rico. there is an example to be set. i think the process every conciliation is really important at this time post up puerto rico is going through a difficult
time. i think the level of assistance from the united states government has not been to our liking, at least to many of us. this is a great opportunity for a legacyreally leave every conciliation for the puerto rican people and stand strong. juan: as a speaker of the new york city council, the second-most powerful post in city government, you have taken quite a bit of heat over this issue of setting up for oscar lopez rivera. you are recently disinvited from a political fundraiser in nevada summarily by the newly elected senator from nevada. i would like to talk about that kind of pressure your supposedly supporting the freeing of a terrorist measure critics say. >> that is the way it is been presented. it is wrong in the way it is being characterized. yes, i have -- i want to utilize my position and the platform i have is a puerto rican elected official and now as speaker to shed light on this injustice, not just on this issue, but other issues that are relevant
to the island. i have used the platform to really speak on the behalf of oscar's relief and taken a lot of hits, not only being disinvited from a fundraiser, but i have gotten a lot of hits on the press with regards to my position. but i think that people are starting to get it. we did a resolution out of the council supporting his release. there's such broad-based support that it cannot be ignored in terms of the voices that are coming out. it is a great injustice, disproportionate in terms of the sentence. he will be 74 years on january 6. we need oscar to be home and to be part -- to come back to his family and to his island. having visited him, one of the things that really moves me, and this is a very personal issue for me at this point, he is an incredibly strong person in spirit. in light of all ofhis, and having 12 years of solitary confinement, 35 years going on
36 years being imprisoned, you'll never find someone schlanger in spirit. -- stronger in spirit. he is an amazing person. amy: on this issue, jose lopez rivera, your brother, the kind of support you have had -- i mean, the creator of hamilton, many other celebrities, political officials, past presidents, what your final demand of president obama is, and have you gotten word back from the white house? >> no, we have got no word from the white house. this is probably the most insular presidency that we have dealt with. i have been involved in campaigns to free puerto rican political prisoners since the 1970's. i was involved in the campaign to free the nationalists under carter and to free the other little prisoners under clinton. and usually, we get some idea months before that something
positive is going to happen. with this presidency, nothing. we have heard absolutely nothing. i also want to just point out that, obviously, this has taken a toll on the family. as melissa so wonderfully said, my brother is dust from him imitate an incredible sense of peace, a sense of justice and compassion. this process has taken its toll on my family, my mother died almost 20 years ago from alzheimer's. she was never able to see him. or to touch him. because he was in solitary confinement in a prison that obviously was a controlled unit present in marion, illinois. my sister passed away, my oldest sister passed away almost seven years ago.
he has never been able to be with his granddaughter, who graduated from the university of chicago, now is in dental school. he is never been able to be part of our lives for 35 years. so we think it is the right thing to do as a family. we are very appreciative of the support that people have expressed, including presidents of latin america, including the ex-president, who recently also made a statement about oscar's release. so we are grateful. we await the president's decision. we hope he makes the right decision in relationship to begin this process of reconciliation to ultimately begin a real discussion about the decolonization of puerto rico. juan: i would like to pivot for a second, melissa, to ask you in the last minute we have come about the issue of sanctuary cities. now that we have president-elect trump who has expressed
opposition to sanctuary cities, but new york city has taken a leading role, as have several other cities around the country, saying they're going to oppose attempts by trump to end century cities. >> or take resources away. california as a state passed the california values act talking about affirming the contributions of immigrants to the state and that will provide resources for legal defense, etc. i've sent a similar letter to governor cuomo who is been our governor and mayor, both expressed interest in being supportive of our immigrant communities, as have i, but we can do more as a state. i would love to see us continue to push back against those efforts nationally. they're threatening to take resources away, threading to be unitive to those who have put forth policies and laws that are supportive of all members of our city, including our a document it immigrants. amy: just to be clear, trump is calling for taking away federal money is from cities, but it
would not be taking what his tax dollars because he doesn't pay tabeing really punitive. we have passed a resolution in new york city is that we are proud to consider ourselves a century city and we will continue to support the initiatives and laws we put in place and will push back against in the effort to take anything away from us. amy: we want to thank you for being with us, melissak speaker , of the new york city council. the first latina first woman of color to be speaker of the new york city council. jose lopez rivera, thank you for being with us from chicago, the brother of oscar lopez rivera. that does it for our broadcast. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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